Collections Up Close

collections up close Blog

Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future

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The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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Carolers

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 20, 2019

This photograph shows Christmas carolers in a hospital ward in 1937.

A Christmas Carol

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 19, 2019

William Edgar founded the magazine "The Bellman" in Minneapolis in 1906. "The Bellman" would often do special holiday printed pieces; this one is "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, along with other holiday appropriate material added by Edgar and illustrated by John Leech.
It was published in 1925.

Dayton's Box

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 18, 2019

This Dayton's Christmas gift box has a red base and lid printed with holiday phrases and images.

It was created and used in 1965 - 1966.

Christmas Card

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 17, 2019

This Christmas card was made by artists David and Lolita Granahan. The front depicts a tree with strings of multicolor lights on a blue background; the interior has a holiday greeting. It was made between 1963 - 1974.

Irv Williams's Sax

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 16, 2019

We were very sorry to hear of the passing of renown saxophonist Irv Williams over the weekend at age 100. 
Known to many as "Mr. Smooth," the Society acquired a saxophone from him a few years ago. It is currently on display as part of the Greatest Generation exhibit at the History Center. 

Bradstreet Commode, c. 1905-1913

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 13, 2019

A new small exhibit opens in the Library Lobby this week celebrating Minnesota History, the Magazine! Item of the Day will feature something that was both in the magazine and is now on view all week. The Library is free and open to the public; come take a look!

This is a jin-di-sugi cabinet (commode is another word for cabinet) constructed of cypress, but painted to resemble driftwood. It was created by local designer John S. Bradstreet, who was active in the Arts and Crafts movement.

 

George Bonga

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 12, 2019

A new small exhibit opens in the Library Lobby this week celebrating Minnesota History, the Magazine! Item of the Day will feature something that was both in the magazine and is now on view. The Library is free and open to the public; come take a look!


This photo is of George Bonga who was part of the fur trade economy. He traded at Leech Lake, and he was the son of an enslaved person on Mackinac Island, Michigan. It dates from around 1870 and was taken by Charles Zimmerman.

This was used in the Territorial Issue.

Map of St. Anthony Falls, 1872

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 11, 2019


A new small exhibit opens in the Library Lobby this week celebrating Minnesota History, the Magazine! Item of the Day will feature something both in the exhibit and magazine all week. The Library is free and open to the public; come take a look!, This map, showing Minneapolis, St. Anthony, and St. Anthony Falls was created by the Hawkins Brothers in 1872. It was featured in the special Mill City issue of Minnesota History.

 

Dakota Moccasins, ca. 1850

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 10, 2019


A new small exhibit opens in the Library Lobby this week celebrating Minnesota History, the Magazine! Item of the Day will feature something that was in the magazine and now is on display all week. The Library is free and open to the public; come take a look!
This pair of Dakota deerskin moccasins are decorated with strips of fabric and white glass seed beads. They are attributed to Little Crow's band at the village of Kaposia, around 1850.

Copper Jardinière

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 9, 2019

A new small exhibit opens in the Library Lobby this week celebrating Minnesota History, the Magazine! Item of the Day will feature something on view in it all week. The Library is free and open to the public; come take a look!
We start with this hand formed and finished Arts and Crafts style hammered copper jardiniere flowerpot. It was made in 1910, and highlighted in an article about the Arts and Crafts movement and the Handicraft Guild in Minneapolis. 

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